JOB-RELATED STRESS LINKED TO CONTROL
In study after study, researchers are finding that the rise in job-related stress has a direct correlation to employee feelings of having no control over changes on the job and lacking job security, according to a report by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. (http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/homepage.html)
With many of today's work environments characterized by corporate reorganizations, mergers and cost-cutting initiatives, job stress is often manifested by increased absenteeism, physical ailments, sleep dysfunctions, head aches, gastrointestinal distress and other complaints by workers.
This continues a mid-1980s trend when the government noted a jump in workers' compensation claims for job stress. This marked the advent of claims awarded for "stress injuries" and for "gradual mental stress."
The response of many employers has been to build stress relievers into their employee benefits programs. On-site exercise facilities, child-care benefits and flexible work schedules are just some of the benefits implemented to combat employee stress and give workers a greater sense of control on the job. In their report, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health urges employers to provide stress management training and stress counseling.
Employers are also encouraged to consider organizational changes, (i.e. changing work loads or production schedules), to reduce on-the-job stress and seek better communication within their organizations.